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“Making a Monkey out of Darwin,” by Patrick Buchanan

It’s nice to see people like Pat Buchanan feeling more at ease about going after Darwin. In citing Eugene Windchy’s THE END OF DARWINISM, Buchanan writes:

Darwin … lied in “The Origin of Species” about believing in a Creator. By 1859, he was a confirmed agnostic and so admitted in his posthumous autobiography, which was censored by his family.

SOURCE: worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=102589

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136 Responses to “Making a Monkey out of Darwin,” by Patrick Buchanan

  1. To me, this feels important.

    People must get over their reverence of Darwin and start speaking out about the facts of the current big tax-supported Darwin story:

    Darwin was NOT a Christian and he WAS a racist.

    Any education text should make this clear.

    But let’s take this stuff one item at a time to prevent people clogging the medical system by fainting and crying for help …

    If this stuff could just be admitted and put on the record, many of us would forget all about it.

    Yes, it is true, lots of 19th century science types were racists. Darwin was hardly the most vicious example. But he was certainly an example.

    Also there is no serious sense in which Darwin was a Christian or theist, as some texts have piously claimed.

    A Canadian “theistic evolutionist” made that very claim to me a few years ago, and I treated the claim as it deserved. Darwin knew that some facts of nature could not be addressed accurately by the atheism he really preferred.

    But many Bible school profs front the nonsense that Darwin was a theist without apprising their students of what he really believed … = Nada.

    Anyway, it is a good thing that some of this is leaking out to the public. If you must pay taxes for this, you should at least know what you are buying.

  2. Denyse,

    Darwin was NOT a Christian and he WAS a racist.

    Any education text should make this clear.
    ***
    If this stuff could just be admitted and put on the record, many of us would forget all about it.

    Here, here. Sometimes I just don’t know what makes evos tick. If they would just admit that Darwin had these flaws, we could all get on with our lives. But no, all we get is denial, which is odd, since Darwin’s views on religion and race have very little to do with the validity of his theory.

  3. O’Leary: “To me, this feels important.”

    Is it? Buchanan has no formal training in biology, history, or the philosophy of science (he has a masters in journalism). Is it what he says that is important or is this important merely because of who he is and what he stands for?

    O’Leary: “Darwin was NOT a Christian and he WAS a racist.”

    Perhaps it’s more illuminating to ask what British person in the 19th. century was not racist? (and probably in all classes).

    O’Leary: “Yes, it is true, lots of 19th century science types were racists. Darwin was hardly the most vicious example. But he was certainly an example.”

    So why single Darwin out if he was not the worse offender? Or is this part of the strategy – to discredit Darwin, so that his ideas are also discredited, and therefore ID by default becomes more palatable?

  4. JTaylor:

    Or is this part of the strategy – to discredit Darwin, so that his ideas are also discredited, and therefore ID by default becomes more palatable?

    Actually Darwin is being discredited all the way around these days. Maybe take a look at “The Darwin Myth: the life and lies of Charles Darwin” – over at amazon.com. His motives (underlying his speculations as he himself called them) were not even worthy of the name ‘scientist’.

    His pseudo-scientific hypothesis (doesn’t even qualify as a real theory), is also being generally discredited by the rising “mountains of overwhelming” data, coming to us in throngs over the past few years, that clearly indicate that he was seriously in error.

  5. j Taylor, you wrote, “So why single Darwin out if he was not the worse offender? Or is this part of the strategy – to discredit Darwin, so that his ideas are also discredited, and therefore ID by default becomes more palatable?”

    He was certainly not the wors(t) offender, but he was an offender. Failing to acknowledge that makes his theory immune to rational examination – which could be the intention, in some cases.

    At this point, it has gone on long enough that I really have no way of knowing.

    I suggest we begin by acknowledging certain facts:

    Darwin was a racist, like most of his contemporaries. He thought that traditional peoples would be wiped out by peoples with access to advanced technology.

    That never happened. Does it matter to his theory that that never happened? Or is his theory immune from disproof due to failures of prediction?

  6. Wow—it looks like WND is a gold mine for accurate info on evolution. I think the following quote is quite appropriate, given the topic of this thread:

    Yet none puts it more plainly than Dr. George Wald, Nobel Prize winner and professor emeritus of biology at Harvard University.

    “I do not want to believe in God,” Wald admitted to Scientific American magazine. “Therefore I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generation arising to evolution.” source

    I have to at least respect Dr. Wald for being upfront about his religious views, unlike Darwin.

  7. 7

    Borne,

    ——”His pseudo-scientific hypothesis (doesn’t even qualify as a real theory), is also being generally discredited by the rising “mountains of overwhelming” data, coming to us in throngs over the past few years, that clearly indicate that he was seriously in error.”

    Notice no one talks about his gemmules theory.

  8. Dr. Dembski wrote: “…lots of 19th century science types were racists.

    Keep in mind, when Origin was published in 1859, slavery was still legal in the United States (but not in England or Europe).

    And it would also be fair to similarly say that lots of 19th century religious / political /social leadership types were racists…and that condition remained generally true well into the 20th century.

  9. I think to say Darwin was not a scientist is in error. He did a lot of stuff and some of it quite good. And his theory of evolution works well in micro evolution and predicts these minor changes in life forms. Where Darwin went wrong was in his commitment to an extension of his micro evolution ideas to everything since the origin of life. And even there people are still peering into puddles for explanations for life’s origin.

    There is no evidence for the wholesale extension of micro evolution to creative events in life and natural selection is essentially a conservatory force not a creative one. But it was his obstinacy in insisting that all life changes flowed from his theories that will be his eventual undoing. He is a poster child of the brook no dissent on this that is so prevalent in the attitudes of those anti ID people here and as expressed by Lewontin in his supposedly controversial review of Sagin’s book.

  10. 10

    Oops, darn it, that quote was from Denyse. Sorry.

  11. Borne: “Actually Darwin is being discredited all the way around these days. Maybe take a look at “The Darwin Myth: the life and lies of Charles Darwin” – over at amazon.com. His motives (underlying his speculations as he himself called them) were not even worthy of the name ’scientist’.

    His pseudo-scientific hypothesis (doesn’t even qualify as a real theory), is also being generally discredited by the rising “mountains of overwhelming” data, coming to us in throngs over the past few years, that clearly indicate that he was seriously in error.”

    Sure, I looked at the book but of course it’s written by a Fellow of the DI, so I have to need take into consideration that there may be some confirmation bias at work.

    But saying things like “discredited all around”, “Mountains of overwhelming data” – without if the slightest bit of substantiation just sounds like hyperbolic assertions.

    I can fully accept Darwin was wrong on many things, I can accept that by the standards of his days he was a racist (probably along with millions of others in Britain – and I grew up there so have some sense of how persuasive racism has been in the culture for a long time). In the end so what? Sure, go fix the text books if that will make you happy. If you want say “Darwin like nearly all of his contemporaries of his class and background would be considered racist by today’s standards”. I don’t personally care (we can also modify the text books to ensure everybody understands Newton practiced alchemy while we’re at it). I don’t revere Darwin – he is just one of many historical figures that we can learn something from (and whatever you may think, parts of his life and voyages are quite interesting).

    In the end though, will any of that change any of the commonly accepted science of evolution as understood in 2009?

    It’s still hard not to be persuaded that all of this Darwin-bashing is only to make a stronger case for ID (and perhaps to help cushion the fact that ID’s own scientific achievements are weak and undeveloped at best).

  12. William Dembski:

    It’s nice to see people like Pat Buchanan feeling more at ease about going after Darwin.

    I agree, but for different reasons. I think that people like Buchanan attacking Darwin would probably have a positive effect amongst young people in relation to their views on evolutionary theory.

    This kind of thing makes it clear that the attack is religious/political, and certainly not scientific. We could call it the “Denise O’Leary effect.”

  13. JTaylor @3:

    O’Leary: “To me, this feels important.”

    Is it? Buchanan has no formal training in biology, history, or the philosophy of science

    As opposed to Darwin, I suppose? It is obvious that Darwin and his followers (e.g., P.Z. Myers, Richard Dawkins) are mathematically challenged and have a great deal of trouble grasping the concept of exponential explosion.

  14. I have to say, it bothers me to see this article being promoted when it contains some pretty questionable stuff. Take this:

    “Darwin suits my purpose,” Marx wrote.

    No, he did not, I’m afraid. You can find the full quote quite easily in an 1869 letter by Marx:

    Darwin’s work is most important and suits my purpose in that it provides a basis in natural science for the historical class struggle. One does, of course, have to put up with the clumsy English style of argument. Despite all shortcomings, it is here that, for the first time, ‘teleology’ in natural science is not only dealt a mortal blow but its rational meaning is empirically explained.

    It’s an odd sentiment, considering his own penchant for teleology in history, but it also shows that Marx only liked certain parts
    of Darwin’s writings. My impression is that he liked it because it gave him license to inscribe his social teleology on nature’s now-apparently blank slate. Whether that bit of guesswork on my part is true or not, it is quite certain that Marx departed from Darwin on what most today would consider the quintessentially “Darwinian” ideas:

    1) Of the Darwinian doctrine I accept the theory of evolution, but Darwin’s method of proof (struggle for life, natural selection) I consider only a first, provisional, imperfect expression of a newly discovered fact. [much more along those lines follows]

    This was actually pretty typical back then: people would call themselves “Darwinists” and yet disagree with Darwin on many and sometimes almost all of Darwin’s particulars.

    Another glaring issue in Buchanan’s piece is this:

    “All my originality … will be smashed,” wailed Darwin when he got Wallace’s manuscript.

    Let’s see that in context shall we? From a letter to Charles Lyell in 1858:

    My dear Lyell

    Some year or so ago, you recommended me to read a paper by Wallace in the Annals, which had interested you & as I was writing to him, I knew this would please him much, so I told him. He has to day sent me the enclosed & asked me to forward it to you. It seems to me well worth reading. Your words have come true with a vengeance that I shd. be forestalled. You said this when I explained to you here very briefly my views of “Natural Selection” depending on the Struggle for existence.—I never saw a more striking coincidence. If Wallace had my M.S. sketch written out in 1842 he could not have made a better short abstract! Even his terms now stand as Heads of my Chapters.

    Please return me the M.S. which he does not say he wishes me to publish; but I shall of course at once write & offer to send to any Journal. So all my originality, whatever it may amount to, will be smashed. Though my Book, if it will ever have any value, will not be deteriorated; as all the labour consists in the application of the theory.

    I hope you will approve of Wallace’s sketch, that I may tell him what you say.

    My dear Lyell | Yours most truly | C. Darwin

    I’d hardly characterize that as “wailing”. In fact, what we have is Darwin telling Lyell, in more current, colloquial language, “Hey, that Wallace kid? Yeah, he figured it out too! You were right: someone was bound to if I kept on holding back from publishing. Well, I’m still gonna do that book-length treatment, so if there’s anything to this selection thing, I’ll probably be fine. Anyway, he asked me to pass it along, so here’s his paper. I think you’ll like it. Get it back to me fairly soon, though, because I’m going to ask Wallace if he wants to publish (he didn’t say in his letter). If he does, I’ll make sure someone prints it.”

    Eventually, Wallace and Darwin issued a joint paper. No plagiarism of Wallce, as is obvious to anyone reading that letter, no nasty priority dispute, and Darwin finally published that book and came out alright, just as he said to Lyell. Quite different from how Buchanan would have it, wouldn’t you say?

    So, here’s the deal: this is either very, very dishonest or very, very bad journalism on Buchanan’s part, and there is no excuse for either of those. If he can write for a website, he can certainly use Google to get his facts straight (or have someone do it for him). If he already knew better, then he shouldn’t have written what he did.

    Uncovering other equally serious errors of fact is left as an exercise for the reader, but those two alone really ought to be enough make taking everything else he wrote in the piece with a salt-lick or two.

  15. I left off “a good idea” at the very end there.

  16. Sorry, another correction: Marx’s letter dates to 1861 and not 1869. I accidentally swapped the link too. Here’s the proper link.

  17. Notice no one talks about his gemmules theory.

    Yeah, strange that.

  18. 18

    “Notice no one talks about his gemmules theory.”

    Clive, I’m curious: what are we supposed to notice about that?

  19. 19

    David Kellogg,

    ——”Clive, I’m curious: what are we supposed to notice about that?”

    That Darwin was wrong. That the Origin of Species is, by extension, a piece of civil war era speculation on the same level.

  20. Clive, you expect people to say he was wrong, period? Why would they, when he wasn’t wrong about everything? Besides, it’s not like it’s any secret that Darwin got heredity wrong. Hardly anyone even bought his ideas on it back then. It’s also very well known that that whole selection deal Chuck also liked to write about (not to mention the gradualism thing) works just fine with Mendelian genetics, as Haldane, Fisher and Wright started proving, mathematically, back in 1918. But, OK: Darwin was wrong…and he was also right.

    Also, what’s with “civil war speculation”? Darwin was a British subject and in any case the American Civil War hadn’t yet started when Origin was first published in 1859 (not to mention the decades of work that preceded said publication).

  21. To clarify: Fisher started population genetics off in 1918. Haldane and Wright followed soon after with work of their own in the period up to 1932. Of course, they all kept at it and were joined by many others.

  22. That Darwin was wrong. That the Origin of Species is, by extension, a piece of civil war era speculation on the same level.

    Hilarious.

    You do know the reason that he was forced to propose the theory of pangenesis (or something similar), right?

  23. Oh, and Clive? Origin didn’t cover gemmules or any other aspect of pangenesis. Darwin didn’t publish about that until nine years later after which the word “pangenesis” appeared, once, in the 5th Edition of Origin:

    The possibility of characters long lying latent can be understood according to the hypothesis of pangenesis, which I have given in another work.

    Origin hardly dealt with heredity at all, originally, beyond acknowledging that it existed and accepting that it was a physical mechanism of some kind. Since nobody understood heredity then, you can’t really expect much else. He did accept some generic Lamarckian ideas, as did a great many others, and he discussed possible effects of use and disuse, but didn’t really spend too much time on them.

    All that really mattered for his purposes was that:

    a. Heredity was real
    b. There was a source of variation in organisms

    and:

    c. Some of that variation was heritable

    All of those could be quite readily observed without understanding the actual mechanisms involved. The theory was of course vulnerable on any of those points (for example: was there only a limited pool of variation? Were traits merely shuffled about?), which is why later editions did expand on the topic and he eventually proposed pangenesis. Of course Mendelism came along, and was in fact thought by many, if not most, to have basically killed Darwinism in the early 20th Century because of those aforementioned vulnerabilities. Until population genetics came along, that is.

    But anyway, getting back to your actual comment, none of that really matters as your linkage of Origin’s main subject matter to the much later hypothesis of pangenesis fails on historical grounds alone. In no way can you say Origin was an extension of pangenesis, thus Origin cannot “by extension” be dismissed along with it. Sorry.

  24. 24

    He was certainly not the wors(t) offender, but he was an offender. Failing to acknowledge that makes his theory immune to rational examination…

    Calling an author a racist is not a “rational examination” of his work. It is an argumentum ad hominem–a logical fallacy intended to discredit an argument without engaging its merits. The nature of Darwin’s character is irrelevant to the truth or falsity of his ideas.

  25. 25
    CannuckianYankee

    Learned Hand,

    I don’t think it’s exactly an ad hominem when looked at in the light of Darwin’s proposition of descent. In other words, his views of non-protestants would not be an issue, for example, because such views did not impinge on his theory. However, Darwin’s racism did in-fact impinge on his theory, and was shown to be false.

    It’s therefore not a personal attack on Darwin as an ad hominem would be, but on the idea he forwarded regarding common descent and how it was occurring as evidenced in his own time by the different races, and a comparison between the “savage” and the more “civilised” races.

    I would agree with you if Darwin’s racism had nothing whatsoever to do with his theory, but in fact it did.

  26. dbthomas

    How nice to have someone contribute who knows what they are talking about.

  27. ——”Clive, I’m curious: what are we supposed to notice about that?”

    That Darwin was wrong. That the Origin of Species is, by extension, a piece of civil war era speculation on the same level.

    Does that mean that if I can find one single instance of you or anyone else here being wrong then everything else you or they have ever said or done is wrong by extension?

    That might explain a few things.

  28. What’s kind of interesting about the Buchanan column is to put it together with the post showing overwhelming support for design over Darwininsm in public polling.

    There is a clear disconnect between the self-appointed cultural elite and the culture. Most consumers of news and opinion would not be shocked at all to see columns like Buchanan’s that cast doubt on Darwin and embrace design.

    No, it’s the news editors who are shocked by dissent from the party line. It’s the illuminati, including smirking conservatives like Brooks, Krauthammer and Derbyshire.

    Buchanan is a maverick, tolerated for his quirkiness. We won’t know that the tide really has turned until some more mainstream commentators feel “more at ease” about coming out of the closet and admitting their doubts about Darwin.

    Right now, it looks like fear and groupthink are still suppressing Darwin dissent, just as they are suppressing dissent over AGW. Columnists want to be part of the in-crowd, too.

  29. 29

    I don’t think it’s exactly an ad hominem when looked at in the light of Darwin’s proposition of descent. In other words, his views of non-protestants would not be an issue, for example, because such views did not impinge on his theory. However, Darwin’s racism did in-fact impinge on his theory, and was shown to be false.

    Darwin’s “proposition of descent” is an empirical theory that can be tested to determine its empirical validity. Even assuming arguendo that the author was a racist, that is irrelevant to the truth or falsity of the empirical proposition.

    It’s therefore not a personal attack on Darwin as an ad hominem would be, but on the idea he forwarded regarding common descent and how it was occurring as evidenced in his own time by the different races, and a comparison between the “savage” and the more “civilised” races.

    “Darwin was a racist” is not an attack on Darwin’s theories, or even a cogent observation regarding evidence for or against those theories. Nor is it an ad hominem simply because it’s a personal calumny. Denyse is arguing, rather explicitly, that Darwin’s theories are wrong because he was a racist. That attempt to substitute criticism of the person for criticism of the argument is the definition of the ad hominem fallacy.

  30. ” ‘Darwin was a racist’ is not an attack on Darwin’s theories, or even a cogent observation regarding evidence for or against those theories. Nor is it an ad hominem simply because it’s a personal calumny. Denyse is arguing, rather explicitly, that Darwin’s theories are wrong because he was a racist. That attempt to substitute criticism of the person for criticism of the argument is the definition of the ad hominem fallacy.”

    A couple things. Much of Darwin’s ideas were wrong on evolution and a legitimate question is were these wrong ideas affected by his racial attitudes.

    On another issue let me rewrite the above paragraph as a template.

    ” ‘Thaxton (substitute any pro ID advocate) was a creationist’ is not an attack on Thaxton’s theories, or even a cogent observation regarding evidence for or against those theories. Nor is it an ad hominem simply because it’s a personal calumny. A typical anti ID advocate is arguing, rather explicitly, that Thaxton’s theories are wrong because he was a creationist. That attempt to substitute criticism of the person for criticism of the argument is the definition of the ad hominem fallacy.”

    Whenever an anti ID person wants to criticize ID the sprinkling of the term “creationist” is not far behind. Just look at the Wikipedia excerpts for Charles Thaxton and Dean Kenyon.

  31. It’s kind of nice to see the Discovery Institute associating itself with people like Pat Buchanan. It’s one more piece of proof that the DI’s objections to evolution are not scientific or evidence-based but rather wholly religious.

  32. 32

    Anthony09, you forget: once Pat Buchanan signs on, the youth will follow. Also Phyllis Schlafly: the kids love her. Evolution is doomed.

  33. anthony09,

    you just committed the fallacy that Learned Hand warned us about.

  34. 34

    Learned Hand,

    ——”Darwin was a racist” is not an attack on Darwin’s theories, or even a cogent observation regarding evidence for or against those theories. Nor is it an ad hominem simply because it’s a personal calumny. Denyse is arguing, rather explicitly, that Darwin’s theories are wrong because he was a racist. That attempt to substitute criticism of the person for criticism of the argument is the definition of the ad hominem fallacy.”

    She’s arguing that the theory is inherently racist; not that racism makes the theory wrong, but that the wrong theory makes racism. And she is exactly right. Darwin could have become a racist as a result of his theory, regardless of whether he was one before his theory and read into the theory his own racism. The point is that the “empiricism” of the theory, as you say, was proof to Darwin that savages were less evolved than he was. This is empirical racism.

  35. 35

    Clive,

    Darwin could have become a racist as a result of his theory, regardless of whether he was one before his theory and read into the theory his own racism. The point is that the “empiricism” of the theory, as you say, was proof to Darwin that savages were less evolved than he was.

    You’re still attacking the arguer, rather than the merits of the theory itself.

    This is the very definition of ad hominem.

  36. Clive: “She’s arguing that the theory is inherently racist; not that racism makes the theory wrong, but that the wrong theory makes racism. ”

    So is the modern theory of evolution also racist? And if so what is the empircal evidence for that? Why are we having these endless discussions about the theory of evolution as it was 150 years ago what we should be discussing is whether the current theory is still valid and the best representation of the data?

    BTW, on a slightly different tangent but inspired by the discussion here – as much as I love Richard Wagner’s music I’ve decided to stop listening to it, because he was obviously an anti-semite and I don’t want to be tainted with anti-semitic music. In fact I’m going to start a campaign to the Metropolitan Opera that when there are future performances of The Ring, that a label is affixed to the theatre programming stating “Warning: Wagner was an anti-semite and if you subject yourself to listenting to this performance you may likely start exhibiting anti-semite tendencies”.

  37. 37

    Clive Hayden:

    She’s arguing that the theory is inherently racist; not that racism makes the theory wrong, but that the wrong theory makes racism.

    I get the sense that what you, or perhaps just O’Leary, would like to argue is that whether evolution is true or false is irrelevant. If it’s possible that it could lead to racism then it should not be pursued and/or taught as a valid scientific theory, even if (or maybe especially if) it could be proven to be 100% true. Is this your view, Clive? How about you, O’Leary?

  38. 38

    SingBlueSilver,

    When I wrote “The point is that the “empiricism” of the theory, as you say, was proof to Darwin that savages were less evolved than he was” I was discussing the theory, so that is not an ad hominem my friend. The theory itself is racist. Racism is a conclusion, not a happenstance of the adherent.

  39. 39

    JTaylor,

    ——”So is the modern theory of evolution also racist? And if so what is the empircal evidence for that?”

    Read Lewontin’s paper on race. The aboriginals are markedly different from all other races on the planet, meaning they are less evolved, and therefore inferior, and therefore that position is racist, empirically racist, much like The Bell Curve was.

  40. 40

    What paper is that? I missed the reference. Lewontin is as anti-racist as any scientist alive.

  41. 41

    Clive, A quick search picked up the paper you probably mean. To read this paper as racist is so wrong as to be idiotic. But you must not know much about Lewontin. Here’s the part where he mentions aborigines, in a paragraph pointing out that the concept of race has virtually no biological reality:

    Thus, the classically defined races do not appear from an unprejudiced description of human variation. Only the Australian Aborigines appear as a unique group.

    Nowhere does he say the Aborigines are “less evolved,” much less “inferior.” That’s a mind-numbingly wrong statement.

    Here’s the conclusion of the essay:

    There has been an interesting dialectic between the notion of human races and the use of race as a general biological category. Historically, the concept of race was imported into biology, and not only the biology of the human species, from social practice. The consciousness that human beings come in distinct varieties led, in the history of biology, to the construction of “race” as a subgrouping within species. For a long time the category “race” was a standard taxonomic level. But the use of “race” in a general biological context then reinforced its application to humans. After all, lots of animal and plant species are divided into races, so why not Homo sapiens? Yet the classification of animal and plant species into named races was at all times an ill-defined and idiosyncratic practice. There was no clear criterion of what constituted a race of animals or plants that could be applied over species in general. The growing realization in the middle of the twentieth century that most species had some genetic differentiation from local population to local population led finally to the abandonment in biology of any hope that a uniform criterion of race could be constructed. Yet biologists were loathe to abandon the idea of race entirely. In an attempt to hold on to the concept while make it objective and generalizable, Th. Dobzhansky, the leading biologist in the study of the genetics of natural populations, introduced the “geographical race,” which he defined as any population that differed genetically in any way from any other population of the species. But as genetics developed and it became possible to characterize the genetic differences between individuals and populations it became apparent, that every population of every species in fact differs genetically to some degree from every other population. Thus, every population is a separate “geographic race” and it was realized that nothing was added by the racial category. The consequence of this realization was the abandonment of “race” as a biological category during the last quarter of the twentieth century, an abandonment that spread into anthropology and human biology. However, that abandonment was never complete in the case of the human species. There has been a constant pressure from social and political practice and the coincidence of racial, cultural and social class divisions reinforcing the social reality of race, to maintain “race” as a human classification. If it were admitted that the category of “race” is a purely social construct, however, it would have a weakened legitimacy. Thus, there have been repeated attempts to reassert the objective biological reality of human racial categories despite the evidence to the contrary.

  42. 42

    KRiS_Censored,

    If something is true, it is true in a broader way than evolution is, incorporating our actual humanity. Yes, a theory that demands something less than humanity out of humanity, should be regarded as false, for it is not in accordance with the known facts, the known facts being that we know what humanity is, and it isn’t racism.

    That question of yours is, quite honestly, an argument against evolution. That it has a stranglehold, a political atmosphere in academia and among certain secular hold-outs, that want the view stay in place, regardless of the truth or falsehood of the theory—it should not be overthrown, so say the evolutionists, of course.

    But this is just the opinion of one man :)

  43. 43

    David Kellogg,

    He does say that the Aboriginals are a “unique group”. Please tell me what he really means by that. They are either more evolved or less evolved, either way you have racism. And you need to watch your tongue in who you call idiotic, it is idiotic to call people names.

  44. 44

    I’ll refrain from such language. Apologies: I just could not believe you made that claim.

    It does not mean either “more evolved” or “less evolved.” It means that by a certian socially constructed measure using population genetics, you look at population genetics, the only group that appears to have covariation in “a small number of genetic traits, such as skin color, hair form, nose shape” is Australian aborigines. That makes sense, given their isolation from the population of the rest of the world for a long time until recently.

    The whole essay is an attack on the notion of race as a biological reality.

  45. Clive,

    By trying to paint the theory of evolution as racist you are effectively implying that anyone working in a science that relies on evolutionary theory is also racist – this would include many thousands of scientists with a vast range of ethnic origins from across the globe.

    It is deeply offensive and sadly, onlookers, a poor reflection of the state of our society.

    please stop.

    now.

  46. Clive: “They are either more evolved or less evolved, either way you have racism.”

    Aren’t you bringing in your teleological worldview here? Isn’t unique just unique? By what benchmark are you measuring a particular state of evolution against? Less or more evolved compared with what?

    And going back to basics for a minute, here’s a standard definition of evolution:

    Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations.

    How is this racist?

  47. 47

    “I was incessantly struck, whilst living with the Feugians on board the ‘Beagle,’ with the many little traits of character, showing how similar their minds were to ours, and so it was with a full-blooded negro with whom I happened once to be intimate.” – Descent of Man

    “This diversity of judgment does not prove that the races ought not to be ranked as species, but it shows that they graduate into each other, and that it is hardly possible to discover clear distinctive characters between them.” – Descent of Man

    “…there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races.” – Descent of Man

    “Those who look tenderly at the slave owner, and with a cold heart at the slave, never seem to put themselves into the position of the latter.”Voyage of the Beagle

    “I always thought well of the negroes, from the little which I have seen of them; and I have been delighted to have my vague impressions confirmed, and their character and mental powers so ably discussed.” – Letter to Thomas Higginson 1873

    Clearly the words of a vicious, VICIOUS racist.

  48. They are either more evolved or less evolved, either way you have racism.

    No. Part of the brilliance of Darwinian evolution is that it tossed out the scala naturae. Australian aborigines have been evolving for exactly the same amount of time as every other group of humans (or other organisms) you care to name.

    He does say that the Aboriginals are a “unique group”. Please tell me what he really means by that.

    You can read it for yourself. He means that, according to The History and Geography of Human Genes:

    …principal components…show continuous variation over the whole world. with no sharp boundaries and with no greater similarity [within "races"] than [between "races"], [with the exception of Australian Aborigines].

    Your argument is ridiculous. Lewontin, probably more than any other biologist of the century, was one to argue that the very concept of human “races” is deeply flawed. His claims for such date back about 40 years.

  49. Jerry @30:

    Whenever an anti ID person wants to criticize ID the sprinkling of the term “creationist” is not far behind. Just look at the Wikipedia excerpts for Charles Thaxton and Dean Kenyon.

    Yes, “creationist” is often used an insult, but it also has a purely descriptive sense as well. You have to look at the context to see if it actually goes to the point of an argument, if it is merely being stated as a biographical fact, or if it’s being deployed as a slur. In the case of the Wikipedia entries, it’s biographical fact, not a value-judgment. Certainly, some people will take that fact and judge Thaxton and Kenyon by it, but so what? Because, depending on who’s doing the judging, they could quite easily decide that being a “creationist” is a point in either man’s favor. In other words, “creationist” is not universally or inherently a pejorative term.

    For instance, once upon a time Kenyon submitted an affidavit in Edwards v.Aguillard in which he defined some terms:

    D. Definitions of Creation-Science and Evolution.

    9. Definitions of Creation-Science and Evolution. Creation-science means origin through abrupt appearance in complex form, and includes biological creation, biochemical creation (or chemical creation), and cosmic creation. Evolution-science is equivalent to evolution. Evolution is generally understood by scientists (although some would disagree) to include biological evolution (or organic evolution) from simple life to all plants and animals, biochemical evolution (or chemical evolution or prebiotic evolution of the first life), and cosmic evolution (including stellar evolution) (of the universe). Creation-science does not include as essential parts the concepts of catastrophism, a world-wide flood, a recent inception of the earth or life, from nothingness (ex nihilo), the concept of kinds, or any concepts from Genesis or other religious texts. The subject of origins is a part of evolution, and the origin of the first life and tre-origin of the universe are generally regarded by the scientific community as part of evolution.

    10. Sole Alternative to Scientific Explanations. It is not only my professional opinion but that of many leading evolutionist scientists, at present and in the past, that creation-science and evolution are the sole scientific alternative scientific explanations, although each includes a variety of approaches. Either plants and animals evolved from one or more initial living forms (biological evolution), or they were created (biological creation). Either the first life evolved from nonliving molecules (biochemical evolution), or it was created (biochemical creation). Either the universe evolved from the big bang or other initial state (cosmic evolution), or it was created (cosmic creation). Although some individuals hold to “theistic evolution” and other viewpoints, either these viewpoints are approaches under evolution or creation-science or they combine elements of evolution with elements of creation-science.

    Now how, I ask you, do you think he described those scientists who favored “creation-science”? If you said “creationist”, then you’d be entirely right:

    2. Creationist Scientists and Scientific Data. Although students generally hear only one side on the origins question, increasing numbers of scientists are now abandoning evolution for a new scientific version of creationism. Creationist scientists now number in the hundreds, possibly in the thousands, in the States and in other countries. This extraordinary development, I believe, has resulted largely from analysis of new scientific data not available to Darwin (or to his followers until relatively recently), especially chemical information bearing on the origin of first life and paleontological and other information bearing on biological origins. In sum, biological creation is scientific, and in fact is scientifically stronger than biological evolution.

    I’ll refrain from commenting on the accuracy of all that, and instead simply note that he also used “creationism” as a synonym for “creation-science” in there. Also note that under his definition ID would be called “creation-science” and thus “creationist”. You’d have to ask him whether he still prefers to define things that way. I will say that many people, both creationists and non-creationists, do use more or less the same criteria that Kenyon did at that time.

  50. Clive: “Read Lewontin’s paper on race. The aboriginals are markedly different from all other races on the planet, meaning they are less evolved, and therefore inferior, and therefore that position is racist, empirically racist, much like The Bell Curve was.”

    Do you have another example? This one isn’t holding up very well at all.

  51. 51

    Wow. Given Kenyon’s affidavit, it sure was insulting to call him a creationist. I find this especially interesting:

    Creation-science means origin through abrupt appearance in complex form

    Reminds me of something from Pandas:

    Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact.

    ID would seem to be subsumed under creationism according to Kenyon. In fact, he writes,

    It is not only my professional opinion but that of many leading evolutionist scientists, at present and in the past, that creation-science and evolution are the sole scientific alternative scientific explanations, although each includes a variety of approaches.[Emphasis added]

    This, by the way, was filed September 17, 1984, so must have been written after Kenyon had written the forward to TMLO, which was published in 1984.

  52. 52

    Excession,

    Thanks for your advice. But I won’t stop. now. or later. Evolution is a comparative endeavor, it compares things with each other to see the similarity and thus calls them things like species, and it compares them among themselves to call them different things, thus the evidence for an evolution. This comparison is, by itself, a measure of similarities and differences. Within the differences, among things mostly similar, you have supposed evolution, and that evolution is the emphasis on their differences, and those differences apply to what we call races, in which case the Aboriginals are “unique” in the respect that their race is different from all the other races, thus we have racism. It’s quite simple really.

  53. 53

    David Kellogg,

    ——”It does not mean either “more evolved” or “less evolved.” It means that by a certian socially constructed measure using population genetics, you look at population genetics, the only group that appears to have covariation in “a small number of genetic traits, such as skin color, hair form, nose shape” is Australian aborigines. That makes sense, given their isolation from the population of the rest of the world for a long time until recently.”

    It means a difference, and the mere difference is racism, because it classifies them differently among the rest of us. That’s racism, the opposite of racism being that all men are equal, which this paper doesn’t show.

  54. 54

    Wow, you’re so off-base that you’re “not even wrong,” as Wolfgang Pauli used to say. Lewontin is saying that even on superficial differences such as skin color and hair form, there is no such thing as race. He’s not saying that there is just Aborigines and everybody else. He’s saying that none of the supposed measures mean anything.

  55. 55

    David Kellogg,

    ——”He’s not saying that there is just Aborigines and everybody else. He’s saying that none of the supposed measures mean anything.”

    If I’m not even wrong, then you’re not even right. And Lewontin is saying that the Aboriginals are unique to the rest of mankind. Make a paper hat or a ship out of his paper, but you can’t make it say anything different. The mere classification dividing Aboriginals and man is racism.

  56. 56

    My goodness you are wrong, wrong, wrong. Lewontin does not make a classification “dividing Aboriginals and man.” Here’s the whole paragraph:

    Third, a small number of genetic traits, such as skin color, hair form, nose shape (traits for which the genes have not actually been identified) and a relatively few proteins like the Rh blood type, vary together so that many populations with very dark skin color will also have dark tightly curled hair, broad noses and a high frequency of the Rh blood type R0. Those who, like Leroi, argue for the objective reality of racial divisions claim that when such covariation is taken into account, clear-cut racial divisions will appear and that these divisions will correspond largely to the classical division of the world into Whites, Blacks, Yellows, Reds and Browns. It is indeed possible to combine the information from covarying traits into weighted averages that take account of the traits’ covariation (technically known as “principal components” of variation). When this has been done, however, the results have not borne out the claims for racial divisions. The geographical maps of principal component values constructed by Cavalli, Menozzi and Piazza in their famous The History and Geography of Human Genes show continuous variation over the whole world with no sharp boundaries and with no greater similarity occurring between Western and Eastern Europeans than between Europeans and Africans! Thus, the classically defined races do not appear from an unprejudiced description of human variation. Only the Australian Aborigines appear as a unique group.

    Third of what? Third of the “four facts about human variation upon which there is universal agreement.”
    These are:
    1. “the human species as a whole has immense genetic variation from individual to individual.”
    2. “by far the largest amount of that variation, about 85%, is among individuals within local national or linguistic populations, within the French, within the Kikuyu, within the Japanese.”
    3. “a small number of genetic traits, such as skin color, hair form, nose shape (traits for which the genes have not actually been identified) and a relatively few proteins like the Rh blood type, vary together so that many populations with very dark skin color will also have dark tightly curled hair, broad noses and a high frequency of the Rh blood type R0.”
    4. “these differences are in the process of breaking down because of the very large amount of migration and intergroup mating that was always true episodically in the history of the human species but is now more widespread than ever.”

    If you think that’s racist, I’ll have to go back to my earlier language as a valid inference.

  57. 57

    David Kellogg,

    ——”He’s saying that none of the supposed measures mean anything.”

    Then what measure does he use to mean that there are no races? If his measurements mean nothing, then he cannot say that his measurements mean similarity or non-race.

  58. 58

    David Kellogg,

    ——”Only the Australian Aborigines appear as a unique group.”

    Need I say more?

  59. 59

    Clive, where in the world did you get your ideas? You couldn’t have gotten it from reading the essay. Again, the conclusion:

    If it were admitted that the category of “race” is a purely social construct, however, it would have a weakened legitimacy. Thus, there have been repeated attempts to reassert the objective biological reality of human racial categories despite the evidence to the contrary. (Emphasis added)

  60. 60

    Need I say more?

    Yeah, kinda.

  61. 61

    David,

    Oh I read it, and I read how he brushes aside the implications of the Aboriginals, because they don’t fit his ultimate purpose of dispelling race. But the matter can be seen plain enough. By whatever measure he uses to cluster or not cluster races, he is bound by that same measurement, and if it shows a real difference, as it does with the Aboriginals, then he has racism inherent in the measurement. By what is being used to bring together races, also shows how far apart they are. Then it is a question of what difference equates to any real difference between races, and I say that any difference does, for it is trying to measure a man by his body, and any difference can be used to show racial differences, whereas trying to show the equality of a man by his soul, you get no differences, and thus no racism.

  62. Clive,

    Yes it is so surprisingly simple so I’m surprised that you are having such a hard time understanding. I could try and draw an inference from this about your ability to understand things, or perhaps that you have an ulterior motive and are deliberately trying to deceive … but I won’t, I think the onlookers will be able to judge.

    I’ll repeat this question which you carefully avoided:

    Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations.

    How is this racist?

    If I take what you wrote above literally then any difference can be used to define race so therefore if you have different colored eyes than me then you are of a different race.

    What is the solution to this – pretend that everyone has the same colored eyes, or that eye color doesn’t exist?

    As has already been pointed out, these scientists you hate so vehemently were explicitly opposed to classifying different humans as different races because the small differences that were commonly used to classify race are an irrelevance.

    And yet you persist, modifying your myth of evolutions racism so that now you must regard ANY attempt to differentiate between different groups of people, for whatever purpose, as racist.

    I’m struggling to find the words, I’ll repeat what David has already: you’re so off-base that you’re “not even wrong”.

  63. Mr JTaylor,

    Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations.

    How is this racist?

    In the same way that it is religious.

    In the same way that gravity is racist.

    In the same way that gravity is religious.

    In the same way that colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

    Even in an echo chamber
    the sound of one hand clapping
    is not applause.

  64. 64

    Excession,

    Thanks for your advice. But I won’t stop. now. or later. Evolution is a comparative endeavor, it compares things with each other to see the similarity and thus calls them things like species, and it compares them among themselves to call them different things, thus the evidence for an evolution. This comparison is, by itself, a measure of similarities and differences. Within the differences, among things mostly similar, you have supposed evolution, and that evolution is the emphasis on their differences, and those differences apply to what we call races, in which case the Aboriginals are “unique” in the respect that their race is different from all the other races, thus we have racism. It’s quite simple really.

  65. Jerry, do you have a problem with CreationWiki, The Encyclopedia of Creation Science, classifying Thaxton as a creationist?
    Here is how they describe the site:

    Welcome to the CreationWiki

    CreationWiki is a free encyclopedia of apologetics by an international team of missionaries. Creationists are encouraged to get involved with the development of this ever-growing resource (4,411 articles).

    He is listed in the category “Creationist” and also in the sub-category “Creation Scientist”, as are both Dean Kenyon and William Dembski.

  66. 66

    It’s not “that simple.” I think you’re being willfully obtuse to make a point, or maybe to bait people.

    African-Americans are much more likely, as a group, to have the sickle cell gene than white Americans. Is it racist to notice that? What if Australian aborigines had a significantly higher suceptibility to a disease than all other population groups? Would it be racist to point that out? Would it damage their “soul”?

    Lewontin is not saying any people groups are qualitatively or even signficantly different than others. Lewontin doesn’t even use the term “race” except to critise it. He is talking about population groups.

  67. 67

    Claim: The Psalms are sadistic and advocate child murder.

    Evidence:

    Happy shall they be who take your little ones
    and dash them against the rock!

    Need I say more?

  68. 68

    David Kellogg,

    ——”Claim: The Psalms are sadistic and advocate child murder.

    Evidence:

    Happy shall they be who take your little ones
    and dash them against the rock!

    Need I say more?”

    Umm, yeah, kinda, how about a little context? The Psalmist is referring to the Babylonians, who were cruel to the Israelis. It’s more of a crying out about some future people that will overtake Babylon. It was an eye for an eye time, in the OT, prior to the “turn the other cheek” message in the NT dispensation of Grace. It’s interesting that you would not provide the real context. There is also a philosophical difficulty arguing against God in this way, because you have to assume God before you can vilify Him, but by assuming Him, you are assuming that He made all standards, and you’re assuming His standard of goodness by which you condemn Him, but if you agree with His standard of goodness, (and you must if you use it) then you really agree with the standard of goodness and cannot really condemn Him. You can’t have it both ways, you cannot on one hand condemn and on the other say that there is no God, or that He should be condemned. But I suspect you give a some vagaries about how your own belief doesn’t require standards, about how you don’t really know anything about God, etc. All slippery items so you cannot be pinned down.

  69. 69

    Clive,

    You realize that was a trap, right?

    DON’T TAKE PEOPLE’S WORDS OUT OF CONTEXT is the lesson, and this applies equally to the Bible as well as Darwin, Lewontin, etc.

  70. 70

    Umm, yeah, kinda, how about a little context?

    Sauce for the goose, Clive. That’s what I was asking for. I agree that context is important for Psalm 137; you seem to think it doesn’t matter a whit for Lewontin. There is nothing in the Lewontin essay that can justify your reading of it as racist. That a particular population group happens to have relatively stable characteristics due to its isolation from other populations, and that chose characteristics fit the superficiail differences some assign to “race,” is all.

  71. 71

    SingBlueSilver,

    I’m not taking anyone’s words out of context, everything I’ve said was in context. The paper, though it tries to dispel racism, actually gives ground to it. It’s a modern day phrenology.

  72. 72

    Clive, sometimes I think that, though wrong, you’re a decent enough fellow. And then sometimes, like now, I think there’s nothing you won’t say and no level too low.

  73. 73

    David Kellogg,

    I think you’re a decent enough fellow too, on occasion, and there are times that you disappoint me with your sarcasm and mockery. There’s a lot I won’t say, and plenty of levels too low, but this is not one of them. Determining things like Lewontin is trying to determine is a modern day phrenology, and the results can be whatever you want them to be, depending on how you interpret the info. In this case, the same measurement that ascribes no racial differences among most races, excludes the Aboriginals. I’m just being consistent with the measurement. Anything that describes things on the bodily level is bound to separate into races if one wants to see it that way, even on a genetic level as Lewontin shows, which is why I prefer a qualitative measurement, like the soul endowed by their Creator, (which cannot be a quantitative measurement), to dispel the notion of race. Quantitative measurements won’t do it.

  74. 74

    Although I think “Quantitative measurements won’t do it” should be the slogan of ID in general, alas, Clive, quantitative measurements are required in science. If scientists want to dispel the idea of race as a scientific truth, they might want to do it by science: and quantitative measurements are necessary.

    The measurements are what they are. They aren’t racist. It’s the conclusion drawn from them that’s racist (or not). You mentioned The Bell Curve, which we agree was racist. Now, it used a lot of disputable numbers, but even the good numbers on race show significant racial disparities in (for example) scores on standardized tests.

    The racist is the person who uses observations to support racist ideas. The racist would be the person who took the nonracist sentence “Only the Australian Aborigines appear as a unique group” (from a particular population genetics perspective) and drew the racist conclusion “the Australian Aborigines are a unique group.” Not only does Lewontin not draw such a conclusion, every component of his article and everything else he has written suggest that he would not say that.

    Lewontin has done more to dispel the “science” of racial difference than almost anybody else (certainly more than anybody in ID). It’s shameful that you would try to tar him with the racist label just because he supports evolution.

  75. 75

    David Kellogg,

    ——”Lewontin has done more to dispel the “science” of racial difference than almost anybody else (certainly more than anybody in ID). It’s shameful that you would try to tar him with the racist label just because he supports evolution.”

    I’m not tarring anyone. I’m sure he’s not a racist, but the findings are what they are. Since they show a uniqueness, which is a division, between the Aboriginals and the rest of us, that is a racial distinction, and thus racist. The opposite of racism would be total equality, no difference. But this measurement of a man, is modern day phrenology, which was, you remember, a scientific measurement too. The only difference is the phrenology of olden times was outside the body.

  76. “do you have a problem with CreationWiki, The Encyclopedia of Creation Science, classifying Thaxton as a creationist?”

    I know nothing about the site and care little for creation science but I find many of the YEC’s here very polite and nice people even if I disagree with their science beliefs rather strongly. I believe their overall belief system makes them rather nice people. I find the anti ID people generally disagreeable people who are not interested in a honest discussion and who seem to be driven by a compulsion to put pro ID people down. I often said that I found only one anti ID person I respect in the four years since I have been commenting here.

    Until the term creationist is defined it is a meaningless concept and one should not use it. Then after it is defined then it may be irrelevant to use it anyway. If one is discussing science especially origin of life and evolution, then one should deal with the science and not peripheral ideology. I could argue that atheists should also be dismissed from the origin of life and evolution debates because their ideology requires certain answers to scientific questions in order to support their world view. Thus, how could you trust them since ideology is driving their beliefs on these topics.

  77. Clive @ 75

    I do not understand or accept your definition of the term racist. Here are three dictionary definitions:

    1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
    2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
    3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

    Clearly, all of these terms pertain to a person’s beliefs, worldview, attitude or whatever you want to call it. Yes, the first definition does mention “inherent differences”, but it is still quite clear the term racist is an individual’s belief system (or group in the case of 2.) – not in the biological differences.

  78. Clive Hayden @ 68

    David Kellogg:

    ——”Claim: The Psalms are sadistic and advocate child murder.

    Evidence:

    Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock!

    Need I say more?”

    Clive: “Umm, yeah, kinda, how about a little context? The Psalmist is referring to the Babylonians, who were cruel to the Israelis. It’s more of a crying out about some future people that will overtake Babylon. It was an eye for an eye time, in the OT, prior to the “turn the other cheek” message in the NT dispensation of Grace.”

    Are you saying that it used to be okay with God to smash infant’s heads open on the rocks until Jesus spoke 2000 years ago? Eye for an eye? What’s that got to do with the Waters of Babylon? The Babylonian infants didn’t hurt the Israelis, why smash their heads open?

    But that is God’s way according to the Bible, isn’t it? Pharaoh decides to let the Israelites go, so God hardens his heart (Ex 9:12, Ex 10:1,20,27, Ex 11:10) so he changes his mind and then God kills all of the first born Egyptian children (Ex 12:10) because Pharaoh didn’t let the Israelites go.

    And King David commits adultery and murder, so God punishes him by killing his baby.

    And I can multiply examples, but why flog a dead horse?

    That’s (presumably absolute) Biblical Morality for you.

    Clive: “There is also a philosophical difficulty arguing against God in this way, because you have to assume God before you can vilify Him,”

    You mean I can’t say, “That Darth Vader was a very nasty guy!” unless I believe he existed? That’s equivocation on your part. When we say that God was nasty, we’re saying that going by your own reports, God would have been a very nasty Entity if He had existed.

    “All slippery items so you cannot be pinned down.”

    The slipperyness is not on our end.

  79. Jerry:

    Until the term creationist is defined it is a meaningless concept and one should not use it. Then after it is defined then it may be irrelevant to use it anyway.

    David Kenyon, who you inferred was being tarred at Wikipedia with the creationist label provided one which I quoted above.

    Under his own definition, he’s a creationist.

    I could argue that atheists should also be dismissed from the origin of life and evolution debates because their ideology requires certain answers to scientific questions in order to support their world view.

    You could, but that would be changing the subject, which started because you claimed that Wikipedia calling Thaxton and Kenyon creationists was a slur, rather than simply descriptive. To rephrase a point I made earlier: it’s only negative if you don’t like creationism. It’s positive if you do. If you don’t care either way, then it’s just neutral fact: they’re creationists.

  80. “Under his own definition, he’s a creationist.”

    So is nearly all the world. Big deal. why is it relevant? Why don’t you point out the parts of Kenyon’s definitions that are controversial and cause for alarm for anyone.

    “calling Thaxton and Kenyon creationists was a slur, ”

    I just remarked that it was one of the first things people who object to their science seem to do so someone thinks it is negative. Do you think it is a negative? To me it indicates an insecurity for those who use the term. All I said was it was like calling someone part of the human race? It is a meaningless term but some people want to make sure it gets included real quick into a discussion.

    Anti ID people are so transparent. Don’t you agree?

  81. 81

    Clive, your response [75] ignores the substance of what I wrote. Measurements are not racist. Lewontin used the word “appear” deliberately (think “appearance vs. reality”). Genetic differences in populations are not bumps on the head.

    You write:

    The opposite of racism would be total equality, no difference

    That is untrue in part because it uses “equality” and “difference” wrongly.

    Here’s an observation: African-Americans are significantly more likely than white Americans to have sickle cell disease and lupus. Is that racist? A number of diseases are significantly more prevalent in Jews than others. Is that racist?

    Was it racist for American Indians to be especially vulnerable to European diseases? No. It was, however, racist for the Europeans to give those Indians blankets embroidered with smallpox.

  82. 82

    NB: the phrase “blankets embroidered with smallpox” is from Paul Muldoon’s poem “Meeting the British,” in the volume of the same name.

  83. 83

    Logic says that no group of people is any more evolved then any other.

    I can see where the mistake might be made. If you start off thinking that evolution has a direction then you would mistakenly divide any two groups of people into “less” and “more” evolved. Slavery was justified using such thoughts.

    Yet if you stop and think about it, that only works if you have a target, otherwise how do you measure “more” evolved.

    To say that evolution can say one race is more or less evolved seems to continue the racism that darwinism has been abused in support of – for those of you saying that simply identifiying a group of people that have a particular trait is racist, then, well is it racist to note somebody’s hair colour? Or eye colour?

    Clive

    Since they show a uniqueness, which is a division, between the Aboriginals and the rest of us, that is a racial distinction, and thus racist.

    As David said, measurements are not racist. To note a difference is not racist. To say that that difference means somebody is less evolved and can therefore be treated differently *is* racist.

    Much like the idea that some people don’t have souls and so can then be treated differntly to those that do.

  84. 84

    Clive:

    Since they show a uniqueness, which is a division, between the Aboriginals and the rest of us, that is a racial distinction, and thus racist. The opposite of racism would be total equality, no difference.

    Since the term “racist” implies the notion of superiority, in essence you are claiming that the mere act of recognizing differences necessarily imposes criteria by which superiority and inferiority must be evaluated. Moreover, because you seem to believe that evolutionists must necessarily reach such a conclusion you are also claiming that evolution necessarily dictates what those criteria must be. So exactly what criteria is used to determine superiority and/or inferiority, and exactly how do those criteria follow from the theory of evolution?

    If you’re answer is something along the lines of being “more/less evolved”, the same question applies: Exactly what criteria is used to determine more and/or less evolved, and exactly how do those criteria follow from the theory of evolution?

    Here are some examples of possible criteria for either question: population size, population density, technological advancement, rate of procreation, average height, average foot to forearm ratio, relative “hairiness”, religious affiliation. Of course, none of these are criteria that are necessitated by the ToE. Rather they are all equally arbitrary choices (especially when comparing species’ that have no feet, forearms, or hair). Please indicate the one(s) that I missed that are necessitated by the ToE.

  85. “Yet if you stop and think about it, that only works if you have a target, otherwise how do you measure “more” evolved”

    If you stop and think about it one realizes that evolution according to Darwin most definitely has a direction. It is too greater complexity and greater capability. That is an essential part of Darwin’s theory which relied on his idea of Malthusian competition for resources to survive. Those who survived did so often by getting better at something. Faster, stronger, taller, smarter, more beautiful, etc. It is basic Darwin 101.

    The number of cell types in the Cambrian was about 30-40 and now in many mammals over 200 and some who support natural evolution believe it will continue to grow over the eons. The capabilities that these cell types enable allow for more complex and myriad of actions. Such as writing on a blog and saying absurd things that there is no direction in evolution.

    That there is no direction in evolution is a canard used by those who have a particular thing to promote but disappears under minimal thought. Certainly Darwin believed that humans were more advanced than other creatures. Whether variants of humans were more or less advanced I will leave to others to decide. Such a scenario would have fit nicely into his theory.

    Oh, by the way does Malthusian competition explain evolution. Apparently not, because one can identify millions of ecologies all over the world without any evidence of ongoing macro evolution happening as its inhabitants struggle for existence. For an increase in complexity and capability one has to look elsewhere.

  86. 86

    Those who survived did so often by getting better at something. Faster, stronger, taller, smarter, more beautiful, etc. It is basic Darwin 101.

    No. Basic Darwin 101 doesn’t specify in advance what counts as an advantageous trait. It’s possible that being slower, weaker, shorter, stupider, uglier, etc. can offer greater survival either (a) directly (as smaller and uglier may do in some times) or (b) indirectly, in a trade-off with another, more advantageous trait.

    Many simple organisms (molds, bacteria, jellyfish) have had great evolutionary success.

  87. 87

    Jerry,

    If you stop and think about it one realizes that evolution according to Darwin most definitely has a direction.

    Then you won’t have any trouble substantiating that with a quote from Darwin?

    http://darwin-online.org.uk/

    Certainly Darwin believed that humans were more advanced than other creatures.

    That does not equate to evolution having a direction.

    Provide a quote, or retract pleace.

    And anyway, what is your metric here? Are humans more advanced then birds if the metric is “innate flying ability”?

  88. 88

    Clive,

    I’m just being consistent with the measurement. Anything that describes things on the bodily level is bound to separate into races if one wants to see it that way, even on a genetic level as Lewontin shows, which is why I prefer a qualitative measurement, like the soul endowed by their Creator, (which cannot be a quantitative measurement), to dispel the notion of race. Quantitative measurements won’t do it..

    How does one go about measuring a soul?

  89. 89

    lamarck,

    What do you mean yes they do? No, they do not.

    I provided several peer-reviewed scientific papers showing this is the case. You did not respond to them.

    Phylogenetic tree congruency is one of the most basic tools of paleontology. If it doesn’t’ work, they never would have found half the fossils they have. Phylogenetic trees predict a) about when two animals had a common ancestor and b) about where in the strata the fossils will be found. This has been confirmed over and over and over ad nauseum.

    One well-known fossil is Tiktaalik, but every time it is brought up IDers descend into squabbling over details. “It’s an evolutionary dead end” “It wasn’t capable of walking” etc. when the point is that common descent predicted where it would be and what age of rock it would be in, and there it was. And there are many more examples just like it.

    Please let paleontologists know that their most basic tool does not work. People who have devoted their entire lives to paleontology probably need to know about this.

    Investigating Evolution: Homology on youtube

    The video criticizes homology as being evidence of relatedness.

    First of all, the people who study these things are ANATOMISTS. They know more things about bones that you could ever dream of. It’s EXTREMELY condescending and arrogant to throw away the hard work of people who have devoted their entire lives to studying bones by saying “psha! what do you know! just because they LOOK the same doesn’t me they ARE! pshah!” as if paleontologists were children playing with blocks. Dunning-Kruger Syndrome soldiers forward as strong as ever.

    Secondly, common descent is not proven JUST through homologous body structures. Matching phylogenies, biogeography, molecular studies, paleontology, etc all add up to the big picture of evolution.

    Third, is this idea, that homology is not indicative of relatedness, scientific? Has it been vetted by peer review? Or is it just someone’s opinion? You do realize that the Internet is loaded with people writing just anything they want to, right? And that many of these ideas are complete caca?

  90. “Many simple organisms (molds, bacteria, jellyfish) have had great evolutionary success”

    What kind of stupid argument is this? It ignores what is obvious to the eye and evolutionary biologists, namely that there is greater complexity and capability as time moved on. By pointing to some simple things that still exist does not eliminate the self evident.

    I am not going to retract anything. If you want to take the absurd path that David Kellogg did, then be my guest. But the evidence is that there is direction.

    Is anyone who supports Darwin going to argue that organisms have not gotten faster, smarter, stronger or are more beautiful. Oh what was sexual selection about.

    Give me a break and stop presenting these juvenile arguments.

  91. 91

    “Many simple organisms (molds, bacteria, jellyfish) have had great evolutionary success”

    What kind of stupid argument is this?

    The stupid argument of Darwin 101?

    Is anyone who supports Darwin going to argue that organisms have not gotten faster, smarter, stronger or are more beautiful.

    Some have. Others haven’t. 65mya large size and great strength turned out not to be an advantage.

  92. 92

    If you’re going to argue against evolution, jerry, you’re going to have to understand it first.

    Come to think of it, that’s not true, as your own comments prove.

  93. And David Kellogg types his absurd argument on a keyboard some place attached to his computer that life forms have not gotten more complex and more capable by pointing to protozoa and ignoring the 8,000 pound gorilla sitting next to him. Thus, pushing Darwin into the ash heaps because as David Kellogg has said, Darwin cannot explain evolution. So what does, an intelligent input?

    As last we agree on something. Thank you for making my point.

    Adios for the day.

  94. 94

    “David Kellogg types his absurd argument . . that life forms have not gotten more complex . . .”

    Of course they have. Some of them. Some of them haven’t. That has always been my point. In any particular case, you can’t say in advance what will count as an advantageous trait. “More capable” in some cases might mean simpler, smaller, uglier, etc. It’s not that hard, and I don’t see what you gain by misrepresenting Darwin.

  95. 95

    Blind cavefish evolved to be “simpler” a long time ago, losing their sight.

    Earlier studies found that the evolutionary impairment of eye development – as well as the loss of pigmentation and other cave-related changes – results from mutations at multiple gene sites, or loci. Reports also showed that eye loss has evolved independently at least three times and that at least some of the genes involved differ between the different cave populations.

  96. 96

    jerry,

    You missed David’s point.

    The point is that evolution does NOT necessarily favor bigger, more beatiful, more complex, etc.

    Evolution favors whatever allows an organism’s genes to become more numerous in the population.

    Sometimes that means smaller, such as mammals of the Mesozoic. Thanks to large land predators, smaller was a better survival advantage.

  97. 97

    djmullen,

    ——”Are you saying that it used to be okay with God to smash infant’s heads open on the rocks until Jesus spoke 2000 years ago? Eye for an eye? What’s that got to do with the Waters of Babylon? The Babylonian infants didn’t hurt the Israelis, why smash their heads open?”

    The verse is descriptive, not prescriptive. It is describing the thoughts of the Psalmist who is crying out against Babylon. It is not an exhortation. It is a raw emotion being put into words. The fact that the Psalmist writes it doesn’t mean that God condones it. There are lots of verses in scripture that tell of events, without making them prescriptive. The OT is not a cookbook in which every step is an instruction, it tells events and histories too. Maybe you should read C.S. Lewis’s work Reflections on the Psalms. He explains that the Psalms are lyrical poetry rather than as doctrinal treatises or sermons.
    https://christianaudio.com/product_info.php?products_id=1240

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity for clearing this up, and yet again defend scripture, and recommending more enlightenment from C.S. Lewis.

    King David went and worshiped God after his baby died. You see, when everything belongs to God, he can take back what he gives, without moral imprecation. The same can be said about the children in Exodus. These children, literally, go directly to Heaven, so it is a change of real-estate for them, but not an everlasting death, as you assume death means. You have to take the whole context of scripture if you’re going to argue using some of it.

    And sure, you can advocate that things that don’t exist are nasty based on someone else’s version of that thing, but you’re still not vilifying it unless you assume it actually exists. But the problem with doing this with God is that He makes all standards, so you cannot use any standard that He gives you, even one for “goodness” and use it against Him, for you would then be agreeing with Him in His standard.

    “If a Brute and Blackguard made the world, then he also made our minds. If he made our minds, he also made that very standard in them whereby we judge him to be a Brute and Blackguard. And how can we trust a standard which comes from such a brutal and blackguradly source? If we reject him, we ought also to reject all his works. But one of his works is this very moral standard by which we reject him. If we accept this standard then we are really implying that he is not a Brute and Blackguard. If we reject it, then we have thrown away the only instrument by which we can condemn him. Heroic anti-theism thus has a contradiction in its centre. You must trust the universe in one respect even in order to condemn it in every other.”
    C.S. Lewis

  98. 98

    Echidna,

    ——”How does one go about measuring a soul?”

    One doesn’t, and that’s the point.

  99. 99

    SingBlueSilver,

    ——”The point is that evolution does NOT necessarily favor bigger, more beatiful, more complex, etc.”

    Right, evolution means anything that ever does anything……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

  100. 100

    jerry,

    Don’t you know, don’t you understand by now, that evolution means anything that ever does anything? ;)

  101. 101

    Clive, I suppose, given your persistent misrepresentation and your failure to address my points in 81, I suppose it’s to be expected that you’ll encourage jerry to persist in his misunderstanding as well. Is there an educational value in that?

    Lewis would be ashamed.

  102. 102

    Clive,

    Right, evolution means anything that ever does anything

    I don’t understand what you mean, here. Evolution means the change of organisms over time to best adapt to their ecological niche. Their niche might require strength and complexity, or it might require weakness and simplicity.

    Some anti-evolutionists, in trying to equate evolution with Hitler and racism, think that natural selection means better, bigger, faster, stronger, Nietzsche’s Superman, etc.

    It does not imply that at all.

    That is my only point.

  103. Hi Clive – I feel left out. Lots of people got responses, but I noticed you haven’t responded to my comment regarding dictionary definitions of the word racist.

    How these definitions jive with the way you have been using the word?

  104. 104

    David,

    What were your points in 81? You’ll have to quote them, I’m not looking at the thread like you are, I’m in the WordPress backend, where I can view all comments, but I cannot see their corresponding number in the thread. Thanks.

  105. Jerry @ 80:

    So is nearly all the world. Big deal. why is it relevant?

    Jerry @ 30

    Whenever an anti ID person wants to criticize ID the sprinkling of the term “creationist” is not far behind. Just look at the Wikipedia excerpts for Charles Thaxton and Dean Kenyon.

    If you hadn’t noticed, you brought it up. Seriously: search this page and you will find that you were the first person to use the word “creationist” in a post. I merely attempted to correct a misunderstanding on your part that in using the word Wikipedia was somehow smearing Kenyon and Thaxton, rather than simply stating a biographical fact, which is entirely appropriate for biographical entries in a work of reference about two men who hold and promote a certain view of science (and particularly of biological science). It’s even more appropriate in light of this subsequent complaint @ 76:

    Until the term creationist is defined it is a meaningless concept and one should not use it.

    As you know by having visited their entries, Wikipedia has helpfully linked the word “creationist” in each to the entry for creationism, which entry goes far beyond the level of detail of the definition you say is required before the word can be used.

  106. 106

    JTaylor,

    My apologies. It seems to me that dividing people into groups based on a physical characteristic is to categorize them as a race. Of course the measurement will be arbitrarily defined, and any difference used for whatever purpose one has in mind. The mere fact that the measurement that Lewontin used separates the Aboriginals as a unique race, is racism. He is not saying anything about which race is superior or not, but by the very method of measurement that separates, is a division of two races, and therefore racist. If we are all one, we would not be two.

  107. Clive: “The mere fact that the measurement that Lewontin used separates the Aboriginals as a unique race, is racism”

    Go back and read the dictionary definitions. Racism is an ATTITUDE held by individuals or groups of people, not just merely physical differences. It may be BASED on physical differences but those differences in of themselves cannot be classified as ‘racist’.

    Unless you are using an entirely different kind of dictionary, I think you are quite wrong here.

  108. Mr Hayden,

    What were your points in 81? You’ll have to quote them, I’m not looking at the thread like you are, I’m in the WordPress backend, where I can view all comments, but I cannot see their corresponding number in the thread. Thanks.

    It might be helpful to create a different account for yourself where you can see what others see. You wouldn’t need it as a sockpuppet, just for quality control. Just a suggestion. Other people have said WordPress is a problem.

  109. 109

    JTaylor,

    If race is an attitude, then Lewontin didn’t deal with racism or races. You can’t have it both ways.

  110. Clive: “If race is an attitude, then Lewontin didn’t deal with racism or races. You can’t have it both ways.”

    That’s not what I said. Being racist is an attitude. Race and racists do not have the same meaning (even though they are etyomologically related).

    You are using the word racist incorrectly. Unless you have a dictionary definition that shows otherwise?

  111. 111

    JTaylor,

    My point is that Lewontin’s paper cannot dispel racism if it doesn’t speak to the matter at all, as you’re suggesting.

  112. Clive, correctly interpreted, Lewontin undermines the entire basis of racism by demonstrating that the concept of “race” simply makes no biological sense at all. The differences people latch onto to define races are entirely superficial (including those of the Australian Aborigines you are so concerned about). So, if races don’t actually exist, then they can’t possess the supposedly “superior” or “inferior” traits people have tried to impute to them. It’s really that simple: No races == no grounds for racism.

    Now, obviously, the article itself won’t dispel anything. It’s just words. However, if you read it, understand it, and are persuaded by its argument, then it stands to reason that you’d start questioning any racist opinions you might currently hold. They might even be dispelled.

  113. 113

    Clive, here’s what I wrote in 81:

    Clive, your response [75] ignores the substance of what I wrote. Measurements are not racist. Lewontin used the word “appear” deliberately (think “appearance vs. reality”). Genetic differences in populations are not bumps on the head.

    You write:

    The opposite of racism would be total equality, no difference

    That is untrue in part because it uses “equality” and “difference” wrongly.

    Here’s an observation: African-Americans are significantly more likely than white Americans to have sickle cell disease and lupus. Is that racist? A number of diseases are significantly more prevalent in Jews than others. Is that racist?

    Was it racist for American Indians to be especially vulnerable to European diseases? No. It was, however, racist for the Europeans to give those Indians blankets embroidered with smallpox.

  114. 114

    David Kellogg,

    I agree with you that measurements are, in themselves, neutral. But, when they show uniqueness, they separate, and that separation is itself a guideline of what designates race. Even Lewontin claimed this. And his paper, if it did address racism, (i.e. if the measurements refute racism by refuting race), then they went beyond any neutrality of measurement, into the realm of meaning; and on this, the same measurement could be used to support racism, for differences, (and there are differences) no matter how large or small, could be used to bolster the claim that races exist, depending on how you interpret them and the meaning you assign them. Modern day phrenology isn’t going to dispel racism.

  115. 115

    dbthomas,

    Make no mistake about it, the Aboriginals didn’t fit in with the rest of humanity in Lewontin’s paper. His measurement precluded them from the pool of other races. That’s a designation of race, which is, quite honestly, racism. He says that they are a unique group. His theory on race being dispelled is mostly true, except for those darn pesky Aboriginals that he gave a nod to, presumably out of intellectual honesty, and passed right over the implications that follow, including the disconfirmation of his purpose of writing the paper that they evidence.

  116. 116

    Clive,

    Population genetics isn’t “modern day phrenology.” All I see you saying is that a highly imaginative person could, with effort and against the explicit point of Lewontin’s essay, abuse Lewontin’s meaning, change “appear as” to “are,” and make an argument for classifying humans into two races: Australian aboriginals and everyone else. Recall your original brief against Lewontin:

    Read Lewontin’s paper on race. The aboriginals are markedly different from all other races on the planet, meaning they are less evolved, and therefore inferior, and therefore that position is racist, empirically racist, much like The Bell Curve was.

    This was, and remains, utterly wrong.

  117. 117

    Clive,

    He says that they [Australian aborigines] are a unique group.

    No, no, no, and again no. He says they appear as a unique group. Don’t you get that by now? For crying out loud.

  118. 118

    David Kellogg,

    If the Aboriginals “appear” as a unique group, presumably provisionally, then all of the other races “appear” similar, presumably provisionally, in the same way, until nothing of any value is actually asserted because of the passive language. Don’t you get that by now for crying out loud? Consistency, my friend, it’s important.

  119. 119

    I give up. Your failure to read the essay for what it says is remarkable, and shameful. As far as I can tell, you just want to call it racist because Lewontin is an evolutionist. You’ll do whatever you have to to make that charge.

  120. 120

    David,

    I read the essay, I’m the one who referenced it. I also see what’s really there, in spite of what Lewontin is asserting.

  121. Clive: “That’s a designation of race, which is, quite honestly, racism. He says that they are a unique group.”

    Let’s go back to the dictionary definitions.

    1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
    2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
    3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

    Clive – which of the characteristics that I’ve bolded does Lewontin exhibit in his paper? All, some or none?

  122. 122

    David:

    Appearance is paramount here. If something appears one way, then it is necessarily that way. Life appears designed, therefore it is necessarily designed. Aboriginals appears unique, therefore they are necessarily unique. Appearance is necessarily reality, and so your claim that appearance is not so appears to be nonsensical…therefore, it is necessarily nonsensical.

  123. 123

    “I also see what’s really there”

    As opposed to what appears to be there?

    Seriously, if there were a disease that significantly affected a population group — say, Australian aborigines — you would not want to know about that because it’s a difference, therefore racist?

  124. 124

    The quote in the previous post was from Clive, who buys the appearance/reality duality when it suits him and dismisses it when it does not.

  125. KRiS_Censored:
    As the late Ed McMahon was said to have said: “You are correct, sir!”

    Par example:

    The Sun appears to revolve about a stationary Earth. The stars appear to rotate through the night sky. The Earth itself appears to be flat. A number of insects appear to spontaneously generate from dead flesh. David Copperfield apparently made the Statue Of Liberty disappear one time.

    I must bow to inexorable logic, and so I am now a confirmed flat-earther, geocentrist, Aristotelian, and am deeply, deeply afraid of Mr. Copperfield’s vast sorcerous powers.

  126. 126

    dbthomas:

    lol. I hope you’re not trying to mock me :)

    I always forget about Poe’s Law and that I need to unambiguously state when I’m making an intentionally absurd point.

    And of course, I hope it’s not a case where you’re intentionally taking me too seriously to continue the parody and I’m taking you too seriously in return.

    Poe’s Law can be confusing enough without second and third order parodies popping up.

  127. KRiS_Censored:

    And of course, I hope it’s not a case where you’re intentionally taking me too seriously to continue the parody and I’m taking you too seriously in return.

    Yeah, that one. Maybe the W3C can standardize a tag for parody/satire, or sites can make good use of javascript’s rollover event so we can just keep these things running indefinitely.

  128. 128

    As Erasmus write at the Site Which Shall Not Be Named, Clive is essentially arguing that names make you racist.

    Clive, again: suppose a group (say, Australian aborigines) has a strong susceptibility to a disease. Does noticing that make you racist?

  129. 129

    Clive

    Modern day phrenology isn’t going to dispel racism.

    What does Intelligent Design have to say about race and racism?

    Anything at all?

  130. Clive

    Anything that describes things on the bodily level is bound to separate into races if one wants to see it that way, even on a genetic level as Lewontin shows, which is why I prefer a qualitative measurement, like the soul endowed by their Creator, (which cannot be a quantitative measurement), to dispel the notion of race. Quantitative measurements won’t do it.

    Then you may be interested in interested in Warda and Hans recent paper “Mitochondria, the missing link between body and soul: Proteomic prospective evidence”.

  131. From Warda and Han’s paper:

    Alternatively, instead of sinking in a swamp of endless debates about the evolution of mitochondria, it is better to come up with a unified assumption that all living cells undergo a certain degree of convergence or divergence to or from each other to meet their survival in specific habitats. Proteomics data greatly assist this realistic assumption that connects all kinds of life. More logically, the points that show proteomics overlapping between different forms of life are more likely to be interpreted as a reflection of a single common fingerprint initiated by a mighty creator than relying on a single cell that is, in a doubtful way, surprisingly originating all other kinds of life.

  132. They further note:

    Many controversial questions still need to be answered, e.g., how signaling molecules and other proteomics candidates, with relative low abundance, precisely translocate from or to mitochondria in a matter of milliseconds while crossing a huge ocean of soluble and insoluble barriers. And more importantly, how such molecules further selectively bind their targets to provoke their tidy streaming cascades. The answer could be the contribution of cytoskeleton proteins or the presence of specific carriers or even pH changes etc. This might be true, but we still need to know the secret behind this disciplined organized wisdom.

    They conclude

    We realize so far that mitochondria could be the link between the body and this preserved wisdom of the soul devoted to guaranteeing life.

  133. “You missed David’s point.”

    I didn’t miss David’s point. This absurdness has been covered several times before in the last couple years and I am quite familiar with the arguments. By pointing to one instance or a set of instances does not mean that there isn’t a direction going on for a lot of life.

    If someone disagrees then they should ponder that as they type a response in their computer. You represent a direction. And just because the road of life has a lot of dead ends or cul de sacs it does not mean there are not a lot of long winding roads that are still heading off into the sunset.

  134. Clive, I see you deleted what would have been message #128. Would you mind telling me what you objected to in that message?

  135. 135

    djmullen,

    To be honest, I don’t remember the content exactly. I read a lot of comments, and the normal criteria applies to all of them, so I recollect that it was offensive or vilifying or rude in some manner.

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